Sunday, October 31, 2010

Which is More Likely...

A new game my Roomie and I play... ok not so much play as live our life by.

Let's say there are weird, tiny lights moving across the water late at a night...
Which is more likely....Alien pod ships looking for our new kitten... or night fishing boats?

In our house, clearly the alien pod ships. Or at least that's where our minds go, like immediately.

And I must say my Roomie is worse than I am. She doesn't go to the 'worst case scenario' she goes to the 'Ripley's Believe it or not' scenario.

We hear a sound downstairs.
Which is more likely?
A serial killer that takes nostril hairs as trophies or a dog getting into trouble?

Do I even need to answer that question? Teresa has whatever she can grab as a weapon (her level of terror also is dependent upon how recently we watched a Criminal Minds episode) and ready to call 911.

A blinking light on the horizon?
Let's see... Which is more likely?
A foreign spy satellite or how about the planet Venus, you know... the one that's been around for millennium?

You can see how our conversations go. #tothefantastical #alwaysthefantastical

But you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way #howweroll

Ok, I've got to go. There's a car parked funny down the street which is either a drug cartel reconnaissance or you know... #someonewithaflattire

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween - Not Just Any Holiday

Most kids love Christmas. You know, the presents and all.

Not to say I didn't love all of that too, but Halloween?

Ah, Halloween was well... Hallowed for us (click here to read my last post on Gary to know what all the fuss was about)

Why? Well, you see my childhood wasn't exactly normal. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you are shocked.

Let's see, we have a life-sized nativity scene out front every Christmas. We built floats every year and drove around Northern California to each and every county fair, because, hey, we wanted trophies for all our work.

But all of that paled in comparison to Halloween. It would literally take a forklift to move the huge pumpkins we used for decoration.

And the costumes, oh the costumes were elaborate. Yes, one year I was Hatshepsut... um, you know, the only female Egyptian pharaoh. #duh

But the Halloween that sticks most in my mind is the year that I dressed up as Princess Leah, another neighborhood kid dressed as Luke Skywalker and Gary... well Gary dressed up as Jesus.

Now remember this was in the 70s. And we lived in rural Northern California. But no matter, Gary did not just dress as Jesus, he also insisted on blessing people and forgiving them for participating in a pagan holiday like Halloween.

As you can imagine half the people found it amusing and the other half... well, we got chased off a lot of porches.

It was oh-so-wrong, but oh-so-fun.

Then we got to a house and the woman smiled and commented on how cute our costumers were. Gary was pleased... until she said...

"Look, honey, it is Robin Hood (supposed to be Luke), Maid Marian (Leah) and Friar Tuck!"

As you can imagine, Gary went into a fifteen minute rant about the absolute accuracy of our costumes. The best part for us kids though was, the woman was so flustered that she gave us a second helping of candy.

Call me crazy but that is one of my fondest memories of my childhood. Sacrilegious and all.

Again, I know #weird

What are some of your favorite childhood memories from Halloween? Interested to see if any can top mine for sheer weirdness :-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

The World Shook

On October 17th, 1989 two tectonic plates rubbed together and shattered my world.

Or at least that is how it felt.

Most people remember the Santa Cruz Earthquake (7.1) because it happened during the Bay Bridge World Series (SF Giants vs Oakland A's).

What most people don't know is for that destruction only 12 people died during the quake itself.

I knew 4 of them.

And not to say that I didn't love my uncle and two other cousins, but on that day I lost the single most important person in the world... Gary.

I won't go into depth the difficulty of my childhood. Just know the only reason I survived it was because of Gary.

Sure there was some weirdness. He was 16 years older than me. He was gay (but way, Way, WAY in the closet). And we were betrothed. #minordetails

But that doesn't mean he didn't love me unconditionally. That doesn't mean he didn't teach me about light and love. That doesn't mean I don't miss him every single day.

The only way I survived his death on that October day was to pretend it didn't happen. I insulated myself in a bubble of denial and lived like that for years... well actually over a decade.

But as all bubbles must at some point, it burst and I was left with the whole in my heart had been filled with love and laughter from Gary.

I think this is the first year where I am actually moving through it, fully aware he is gone and grieving.

I would love to say I am embracing Halloween (his favorite holiday and one that we celebrated together like an anniversary) but I am not there yet.

Grief still swirls around this season, clouding my vision with tears and catching breath in my chest.

But just writing this blog has helped loosen some of the pain. I truly wanted to find some place of humor in here, but I am just not feeling it.

I know Gary would have wanted me to share all of our stories of adventure and daring do. He would have wanted you to laugh and know he was the funniest of funny people (Dana Carvy, a good friend of his certainly thought so), but today all's I can do is miss him.

Thank you for reading and I promise to delight you next week with a classic craftycmc Halloween story (brought to you, of course, courtesy of Gary :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fair Food - Ain't What It Used To Be

Is it just me or has the Fair gone soft?

I can't believe I am saying this, but "back in the old days" #godIsoundold, the county fair was the bastion of the worst food for you, but the best tasting food in the world.

Fresh cotton candy. Corn on the cob dripping in butter. Some form of deep-fried... well everything. Plus ribs, piled-high baked potatoes. Corn dogs so big you couldn't fit them in your mouth. You name it. If it was decadent, it was there.

And it simply tasted better than any restaurant food. It was greasy, loaded with sugar and salt... and well... divine.

I mean, I went to the county fair to eat. To savor those childhood memories that only a triple decker bacon cheese burger with cheesy fries can invoke.

What, to my horror, did I find at this year's fair? Um... fish tacos. Wrapped in lettuce!

Dear gawd! If I wanted that kind of food I could have gone to Rubios. Sure there was corn on the cob (for $3.75 each) that was DRY.

What happened to the butter bar? You know the place where you coated your corn in butter then rolled it in different salt/seasoning mixtures?

Nope, this year they just hand you a dry cob (after asking and PAYING for extra butter)and on your way you go.

Not a single rib stand. Not a single cheesy fry station.

Yes, there was a baked potato station that literally had a light sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top. That is 'loaded?????'

Let me say that I know I should eat better. I know I should eat healthier, but if you can't eat unhealthy at a county fair, I seriously do NOT know what direction this country is going!

#Ineedatimemachine #orgotoDisneyland #thelastbastionofjunkfood

Ok, that was my rant for this week. How about you leave a comment on what is your favorite fair food that's no longer available (or is with direction of how I get there to eat it :-)

Also, my novel (under my penname @cristynwest), "Plain Jane" has nothing to do with county fairs or even food and this is actually a rather awkward segue, but I really want you to read it... well... only if you like James Patterson or Silence of the Lambs (if you don't then please do not read Plain Jane because it will freak you out :-)

Anyway click here to read up to 50 pages of Plain Jane for free and if you decide you don't mind a few sleepless nights and want to purchase the whole novel, here is a 50% off coupon: RH88E

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Fall Television Season...

Or as I like to call it... Carolyn's Summer Christmas!

Turing on my Tivo is like opening up presents that beautiful winter morning.

I thrill with anticipation as the television warms up. I scroll down the list, examining the new shows, sizing them up. If I could shake them I would.

Which to watch? Do I go with an old stand-by's season premiere or do I dive right in and get a taste of a new show?

So many decisions and only 4 hours to watch them until bedtime.

Now there isn't just the choice of what to watch first, but then in what order to watch them in. Do I watch all the dramas in a row or sprinkle a few comedies in there?

And then the largest decision of all. Which to watch last. Because that last show is the one that is going to stick with me.

More than likely I am going to dream about it so I better pick right.

The other problem is if I pick wrong for the last show, I more than likely will watch another show, far past my bedtime just to wash the taste out of my mouth.

Do I realize that everything above makes me sound completely insane? Yes.
Do I care? Not really.

Because you know what? At age 45 I have learned what makes me happy. And if I can have Christmas night after night the last week of September, then so yeah me! LOL

So if you are walking by in Ventura in late summer and hear 'Ho Ho Ho!' you will know exactly what's going on!

Who else has a 'thing' with fall television? Comment below with your 'ritual!'